The use of small turbocharged engines to realize improved fuel economies compared with normally aspirated engines is seen as a boon for engineering plastics usage given the higher temperatures prevalent in the engine bay. But they may not in fact deliver on their promise if findings by Consumer Reports are true.
"Small turbocharged engines are marketed as delivering the power of a large engine, with the fuel economy of a smaller one," says Consumer Reports. "That's a tempting proposition, but our testing shows these small-displacement turbos are not delivering on the promises."
According to Consumer Reports, generally, the turbocharged cars have slower acceleration and no better fuel economy than the models with bigger, conventional engines. "Looking at EPA fuel-economy estimates (calculated based on laboratory tests), some of these cars' turbocharged engines seem to have an advantage. But we found those results don't match the findings from our own fuel-economy tests," it notes....